HIGH POINT, N.C. – The No. 1-seeded High Point University women’s soccer team picked up a 3-0 win over No. 8 seed Charleston Southern in the Big South Quarterfinals on Saturday night at Vert Stadium. Junior Becca Hemby scored twice to lead the Panthers to the win.
“I thought we were fantastic from start to finish tonight,” head coach Marty Beall said. “Our possession was great and we generated numerous scoring chances throughout the night. Most importantly, our team defending was once again spot on in limiting a dangerous Charleston Southern attack.”
With the win, High Point advances on to face Winthrop in the Big South Semifinals next weekend in Rock Hill, S.C. The Panthers are 1-0-1 in two meetings with Winthrop in the Big South tournament. The two teams last met in 2010 when HPU pulled out a 1-0 win in the Big South Semifinals in Radford, Va.
High Point took the lead in the 18th minute on a header goal by Hemby, jumping ahead 1-0. The Panthers drew a foul just over the half line and sophomore defender Alise LeCompte came forward to take the resulting free kick. LeCompte delivered an arching ball into the box where Hemby headed it back towards the right post. CSU’s keeper got her fingers on the ball but couldn’t keep it out of the net.
The Panthers continued to push forward holding the majority of possession in the Charleston Southern half. HPU finished the opening 45 minutes with an 11-3 shot advantage including a 7-2 edge in shots on goal. Sophomore Jacky Kessler led High Point in the half with five shots. The Lady Buccaneers’ Caitlyn Cody kept the game in reach for CSU with six first-half saves.
Hemby picked up her second goal of the night early in the second half, scoring from inside the six-yard box to put HPU ahead 2-0 in the 50th minute. Sammy Vercellino juked a CSU defender on the right flank and carried the ball down towards the penalty area before hitting a looping cross to the far post. Senior Janay Whittaker made a run to the post and leapt up to head the ball back across the face of goal where Hemby ran onto the pass and finished in the empty net. The goal was Hemby’s team-high 11th of the season which ties the HPU Div. I single-season record set by Kelli Joline in 2010.
The Panthers scored their final goal of the night in the 74th minute off the foot of freshman Amy Burch to make the final scoreline 3-0. HPU’s Danielle Schepler played a corner kick into the box where it fell to the field. The ball was kicked around in the scrum before Burch got her foot to it and hit a laser past the frozen keeper. The goal was the second of the season for the central defender.
High Point finished the game with a 23-7 edge in shots and a 12-4 advantage in shots on goal. Junior Jesse May made four saves on the night to pick up the win and her second-straight shutout.
With its three goals, HPU set new HPU Div. I single-season records for both team goals and team points. The Panthers now have 39 goals and 118 points on the season. In addition to tying the HPU Div. I record for individual goals in a season, Hemby is now just one point shy of matching the record of 27 points in a season set by Jen Evans in 2004.
HPU improved to 10-5-6 overall with the victory. The Panthers need just one win to tie the team’s Div. I record for wins in a season. Charleston Southern finishes the season with a 7-11-2 record.
High Point will face Winthrop in the first of two semifinal games on Friday, Nov. 2 at 4:30 p.m., in Rock Hill, S.C. The Panthers and Eagles tied 3-3 in Rock Hill during their regular season meeting. Hemby had two goals and an assist in the contest to help High Point overcome a 2-0 deficit after five minutes of play.